Spray Foam Insulation Helps Moisture Control


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Spray Foam Insulation & Moisture Control

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Spray foam insulation’s role in moisture management

Spray foam insulation can play a significant role in moisture management to help reduce the risk of compromised building performance, health, safety and durability. Most moisture management problems in commercial buildings are caused by four key mechanisms of water movement:

  • bulk water transfer
  • wicking/capillary action
  • air leakage
  • vapour diffusion

For the Canadian commercial market, spray foam insulation helps to keep surface temperatures regulated, thereby minimizing the potential for condensation. Additionally, the air barrier properties can help minimize the movement of moisture-laden air within the building envelope and associated moisture problems.

Moisture management with closed-cell spray foam insulation

  • Closed-cell spray foam insulation can perform as  a vapour barrier
  • Closed-cell spray foam insulation does not absorb water even when submerged
  • Ability to create a continuous air barrier without time-consuming, labour-intensive and costly detailing
  • Helps prevent excessive heat loss/gain through framing for fewer cold spots to attract condensation

Moisture management with open-cell spray foam insulation

  • Open-cell’s vapor permeability enhances its ability to dry out via diffusion should it become wet
  • Open-cell spray foam may absorb moisture if subjected to hydrostatic pressure but will allow moisture to drain through
  • Open-cell spray foam will not wick water or contribute to capillary action
  • When applied to the interior cavity, open-cell can also be supplemented with closed-cell spray foam to create a continuous insulation layer on the exterior. This can help limit moisture ingress from the exterior and help control cavity temperatures to avoid condensation

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